Books For Nerds

I began writing this blog with the assumption that you, like me, are either a self-taught programmer or new to the world of code… or maybe just a fan of off-kilter, profanity-laced blabbing. Like you (or not like you) I do not have a CS degree. I went to college, studied liberal arts, alcohol and drugs. After bumbling about and doing a number of different jobs over a decade, I found my calling in writing code.

I remember the first year I was paid in actual US monies to write turrible code; I was happy when the code ran, left few comments and relied heavily on the work of more senior programmers to help get me out of logically tough spots. I gradually got better at writing code and understanding how the internet works. Through days of coding for work and nights and weekends working on side projects, I figured I was pretty damn good at my job.

But, coding only took me so far. I felt like I missed out on the CS fundamentals that no amount of coding could replace, so I put the one skill my liberal arts degree gave to me use: reading. A lot. I scoured blogs like this one (with notably less profanity) for suggestions and read my way to a better understanding of CS fundamentals and problem solving skills.

Here’s a few books I recommend if you’re looking to round out your knowledge as a software developer:

Programming Pearls. This is an older book but will introduce you to many of the complex problems you will likely see and gives you a glimpse of how a master programmer tackles them.

Clean Code. This book reinforced some of the principles of writing code I learned on the job and introduced me to many techniques I hadn’t considered. A good read with many, many examples.

The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide. It’s a hell of a read at around 1000 pages but nicely broken up into chapters that deal with many aspects of a career as a dev. The advice is great and whether you’re looking to get a raise or a first job, it has some great insight.

Data Structures and Algorithms with Javascript. There are many books that tackle this subject but I chose this one because I’m most familiar with JS and if you’re self-taught or out of a bootcamp, you likely are too. This book will take you through the most common data structures and goes into more depth than many of the online courses I’ve seen.

There around a fuck-ton of books out there that cover the world of software and I gave you like, 4. Some of these books may tickle your fancy, or maybe you’ll think they suck. If you got any gems you recommend, please drop ’em on me.

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